Lorelai walked back to the competition in a slight fog, wondering about what Luke said. She shook it off long enough to beat her next opponent and walked back to the bleachers, stretching her legs for the final match, which was determined to be against Kirk.
She knew nothing could get in the way of her winning this trophy. She could take Kirk in a second, it was simple. As long as she was overly confident and kept this whole Luke fiasco out of her head. She pulled Rory aside. "Stretch me out, will ya?" she asked, leading her to another corner of the gymnasium.
"Sure, Mom. What's going on?" Rory asked, knowing she wasn't going to be needed for her athletic training services.
Lorelai shrugged. "Uh, so this thing Luke said to me is eating away at my brain. You know in the movies how it floats around in the character's head and they can't get it out? That's me."
"Well, tell it to your adorable daughter," Rory suggested.
Sitting on the ground, Lorelai decided to tell her story. "He told me I remind him of his mom. And that he used to pretend to be embarrassed by her, but he really loved her."
"And that's a bad thing because…" Rory tried to figure out why Lorelai was freaking out over this.
"Well," Lorelai started, "It's not a bad thing, but I think Luke just professed his love for me."
Rory's eyes widened. "I think you may be right. Wow."
Lorelai gestured with her hands toward the Twister mat. "And now, I've got this competition to win, and I've got this in my head. What should I do?" she asked.
"Let's see. I'd…"
Taylor interrupted with a call from his megaphone. "Lorelai and Kirk, please make your way to the mats!"
Lorelai forced herself to get up and run to the mat. She told herself she'd forget all about the comment Luke made until she secured that trophy. Taking her place at the end of the mat, she waited for Kirk to take his spot across from her. As he came, she couldn't help but laugh at the really cheesy line on Kirk's shirt. The shirt, white with blue lettering, read, "Twist and Shout: Team Kirk."
"Nice shirt, Kirk," Lorelai said, shaking her head and giggling.
Kirk shrugged. "It's going to be a lot better next year. We'll have an updated version with the year and "champ" written on the back."
Lorelai nodded. If she could take the trash talk, she could dish it out, too. "Oh, really? You'll have the updated version with 'Team Lorelai' and the year on the back? How thoughtful."
"I don't know if you're aware," Kirk started. "But I win every town contest there is."
Lorelai laughed out loud, remembering something Luke had said in the diner the year before. "Yeah, the Yankees win all the time, too, but no one likes them, either."
Kirk's eyes widened. "You know about the Yankees?"
"Ha. I win round one of Lorelai vs. Kirk, trash talk extravaganza!" Lorelai said, stretching out her arms.
Rolling his eyes, Kirk ignored Lorelai's comment. He turned to Taylor, who was the official spinner. "What's my move, Taylor?"
Taylor stepped in between the two. "We have to have a coin flip, Kirk. You call it in the air."
"TAILS NEVER FAILS!" Kirk shouted quickly.
The coin dropped on the mat, tails facing upward. Kirk pumped his fist and gave Lorelai a mischievous smile. Lorelai shook her head, ignoring who went first. It didn't matter. The only thing that mattered was who stood the longest.
"All right, we're starting with you, Kirk," Taylor said, spinning the wheel. "Right foot red!"
Kirk stomped his right foot on red, making Lorelai burst out laughing. "You think this is funny? You won't be laughing when I have that trophy," he insisted.
"Lorelai, left foot blue," Taylor instructed.
Lorelai placed her left foot on the nearest blue circle, looking unfazed by Kirk's antics. She looked up into the crowd, where Sookie and Rory jumped and cheered. She rubbed her hands together, focusing on the task at hand. Kirk Gleason wasn't taking the trophy home this time.
"Right hand yellow, Kirk," Taylor said.
After about twenty minutes, Lorelai still stood upright, not getting a single spin with instructions of where to put her hands. She folded her arms against her chest, watching Kirk struggle in his pretzel-like stance. He'd already nearly fallen once, and a sneeze almost knocked him over another time, but for the most part, it looked like Kirk wasn't going to budge.
"Right hand yellow, Lorelai," Taylor said.
"Ha! You have a hand move!" Kirk shouted, peering at Lorelai.
Lorelai simply squatted down, placing her hand on the yellow circle. "Yes, I do, Kirk," she replied.
Kirk groaned. "Why's it SO easy for you? Taylor, I think you're cheating!"
Lorelai shook her head. "It's impossible to cheat at Twister if you're the spinner. Jeez, Kirk, just play, all right?"
"Easy for you to say, you're winning!" Kirk said, trying not to fall.
"Right hand green, Kirk," Taylor interrupted.
Kirk reached as far as he could for the green spot, but tumbled down on the way. He stayed there for a moment, staring at the ceiling in disbelief while Lorelai jumped up, cheering. She finally beat Kirk. As Kirk stood up, Lorelai held out her hand. "You were a tough match, Kirk, good job," she said.
Kirk turned up his nose at her show of sportsmanship. "Way to rub it in," he said, marching off the mat.
"Stars Hollow's first annual Twister Tournament champion is the lovely and talented Lorelai Gilmore!" Taylor announced, handing Lorelai the trophy.
Lorelai politely thanked Taylor and waved to the crowd, bringing the trophy over to Rory and Sookie to admire.
"Congratulations! We all knew you could do it!" Sookie said, hugging Lorelai.
Rory was not far behind. "Mom, this is awesome! Where are we going to put it?"
Lorelai hugged her daughter. "I don't know, sweets. We'll put it somewhere, that's for sure. Somewhere everyone can see."
"It's shiny," Sookie said, admiring the trophy.
Rory turned her attention to the trophy once again. "You should get it engraved."
Lorelai shrugged. "I don't want to taint it."
As the girls reveled in the glory of Lorelai's win, Luke walked up behind Lorelai.
"Hey, nice job out there," he said, shoving his hands in his pockets.
Lorelai smiled. "Thanks. You got out of here awfully quickly a minute ago, what's going on?"
"Well," Luke started, "I just wanted to make sure Kirk wasn't going to do something stupid in retaliation. I went out to make sure he was okay, and I talked to him for a minute. He's okay with it now, for the most part."
Lorelai grinned. "You're good," she said.
"What should we name him?" Rory asked Sookie, referring to the trophy.
Sookie thought for a moment. "How about Triton?"
Rory shrugged. "I'm going to bring it back home, find a spot for it, okay, Mom?"
Lorelai nodded. "Don't drop him, though!" she warned.
Rory and Sookie went off to the house while Lorelai and Luke stood in the gym. Lorelai sighed. "I'm so excited. This is pretty cool, I never thought I'd win. Okay, yeah, I knew, but I didn't know it felt this darn good!" she teased.
"You worked hard, you deserved it," Luke said.
Grinning, Lorelai folded her arms once again. "I think you should make us a victory dinner. It would be fun. Please?"
Luke sighed. "I guess I could do that," he consented.
Lorelai jumped up and down, clapping her hands in excitement. "Yay! What should I have you make? Hmmm. I'm thinking maybe this giant chocolate cake. Or, maybe breakfast for dinner."
As Lorelai rattled off numerous ideas for dinner, Luke brushed his hand against hers before taking it. She was silent for a minute, looking up at Luke. "Go on, get all those crazy ideas out before you get to the real ones," he insisted.
She smiled. "Or we could have you make us this giant steak dinner, with mashed potatoes."
"That's getting on the right track," Luke said, not letting go of her hand.
"So I was thinking about what you said to me earlier," Lorelai said.
Luke looked at her. "Hmm?"
"You only pretend to be embarrassed by me?"
Luke shrugged. "Okay, so you're not as embarrassing as I've played it off to be… but you're still crazy."
"Crazy? I can handle that," she said. "But you really do like me?"
"Nothing gets past the Twister Champion of Stars Hollow, does it?" Luke asked.
Lorelai shook her head. "Well, I've been thinking about it. And this makes two victories in one day, wow, I'm getting good!"
"Apparently so," Luke teased, pulling her closer as they walked back to the Crap Shack.